Roberto Martinez: In-form Everton star still some way away from fulfilling full potential

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first_img1 Ross Barkley Midfielder Ross Barkley rediscovering his best form is welcome news for Everton, but manager Roberto Martinez believes he is a long way from fulfilling his potential.All the evidence from the England international’s eight appearances so far this season, in which he has already scored three times, point to a return to the scintillating form he showed 18 months ago.Barkley scored just twice last season and Martinez believes a knee injury on the eve of that campaign left the 21-year-old playing catch-up and trying too hard to reproduce his magic.JOEY BARTON ON ROSS BARKLEY: ‘HE CAN BECOME THE BEST WE’VE EVER SEEN IN THIS COUNTRY!’But a summer of rest and proper preparation has rejuvenated the player, who has just racked up his 100th appearance for the club.“Ross is in a very good moment of form,” said Martinez.“He has a real good mindset and it is incredible he has already reached that landmark – 100 games is an incredible figure.“I see Ross as a very enthusiastic footballer who wants to get better and he hasn’t fulfilled his potential yet.“But he is focused on the next game and he is narrowing his aims and objectives into achievable goals so in that respect I have no worries about Ross.“His mindset is perfect to carry on having big impacts in games and being important for the team, as he has been so far.“He came back after a very good summer in which he was able to switch off from football and I think all the lessons we had as a team in Europe (last season) in particular Ross, as an individual, made him a better player.“We all know the quality he has. When you add good decision-making on that package of physical presence and technical ability is when Ross is at his very best.“Good decision-making depends on many things. It is how good the team is playing, how easy it is to play with players around him and that natural approach of being able to be yourself.“All those aspects have come together and Ross is enjoying his football and when he is enjoying his football he can show the level he has.”last_img read more

SCREAMER! Liverpool U-21 star Matty Virtue scores beauty against Tottenham

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first_imgWhat a goal!Liverpool’s Under-21s are regarded as some of the finest youngsters in the country, and Matty Virtue illustrated why with a sumptuous strike on Friday night.The 18-year-old struck a brilliant 25 yarder during his side’s 1-1 draw with Tottenham.Jurgen Klopp is well known for his tendency to blood youth players into the first-team setup – could Virtue be on his radar?https://twitter.com/ALI_LFC_/status/657855111226654721 Matty Virtue 1last_img

‘Dear Scotland, please look after things while we’re at Euro 2016, from the rest of the UK and Ireland’

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first_imgEngland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland will all take part in Euro 2016, but sadly for the Tartan Army, Scotland won’t be there.It would have been unbelievable to have all four nations from the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland, all qualify for France 2016, but Gordon Strachan’s team will have to look on from afar next summer.As certain corners of social media were only too happy to point out… Scotland missed out on Euro 2016 1last_img

Gary Neville unveiled as Valencia manager: ‘Opportunity too good to pass up’

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first_img1 Gary Neville has said the opportunity of becoming the manager of Valencia was too good to pass up, while also confirming his brother, Phil, will be among his coaches at the La Liga club.The former Manchester United defender was presented to the world’s media on Thursday afternoon after agreeing to take charge until the end of the campaign.Neville is determined to make the most of his short-term role, and insists he will dive headfirst into the Spanish culture in order to make a success of his stint.The coach, who said he will continue his roll at England despite taking the job aboard, told a press conference: “When I received the call on Sunday evening I thought ‘what a football club’ and ‘what a challenge’.“I think, from my point of view, sitting on television these last few years talking about coaches, the time has come for me to stand up. If I’d turned down this job is to have said goodbye to my credibility.“I’m incredibly excited to be here. I understand and respect the huge responsibilities that I’ve been given.“I understand from playing here at this very stadium years ago the passion and the pride of the fans. The atmosphere and intimidation is something I want to harness. I’m very aware of the traditions at Valencia and how they play.”Like brother Phil, who has been coaching at the side since June, the England coach plans to dive into the culture.He added: “When I went to the training ground Philip’s Spanish was excellent with the players and I have to have that same level of commitment. I don’t speak the language. I have to immerse myself. I will take lessons every day.“My family will move over here permanently. My girls will finish school in Manchester in two weeks. Then they will move over to Valencia with my wife.“When I was a player I always wanted foreign players to come over and immerse themselves in the culture and that is what I plan to do.”Neville is famed for his ‘no holds barred’ style and opinions as a TV pundit.And, when asked how he would have reacted if a Premier League side had hired an inexperienced Spanish manager, he replied: “I would question it and I would be sceptical and want to be proven otherwise.“I understand over here I have to prove myself to the Valencia fans, the players and anyone who has doubts and concerns will only be convinced by winning football matches.“I’m not going to shy away from the direct approach I had on television.”Neville also addressed fears he would be distracted by trying to combine the Valencia role with assisting England manager Roy Hodgson in the run-up to Euro 2016.“Roy was incredibly supportive, positive and enthusiastic for me,” he said.“I was inspired by the conversation I had with him. He understood completely the opportunity for myself and was supportive 100 per cent.“[England] have got the two games in March when Valencia don’t play and most of the players are away. From my point of view I wanted to complete my job, certainly through to the European Championship.“Everyone’s understanding is Valencia are my priority other than the two games in March. It doesn’t stop me having phone conversations with Roy and the other coaches. I have a lot of hours in my day.” New Valencia boss Gary Neville last_img read more

Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal: Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey fire Gunners to Premier League summit

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first_imgArsenal moved to the top of the Premier League thanks to a comfortable victory over Aston Villa at Villa Park.Olivier Giroud carried on where he left off from after his heroics against Olympiakos in the Champions League with an early penalty.Arsene Wenger’s men made the game theirs before half time with a well worked team goal finished by Aaron Ramsey.The defeat leaves Villa with only six points after 16 games and six adrift of Sunderland in 19th.Villa began the game with a large bit of early possession but failed to keep it whenever they got near the Arsenal box in a scrappy start to the game.Seven minutes in and Arsenal were in front when Alan Hutton pulled down Theo Walcott after the Englishman raced past him and, after a long delay, the referee pointed to the penalty spot after his assistant flagged.Giroud stepped up confidently after his midweek hat-trick to stroke the ball passed Brad Guzan.The goal did nothing to raise the quality of the game as it continued to be very stop-start with neither team able to fashion a chance of any real meaning.However, after 37 minutes the was finally a bit of quality as Ramsey started and finished a beautifully worked breakaway goal to double the Gunners’ lead.The Welshman made a vital tackle on the edge of his own box, before the ball eventually reached Mesut Ozil who confirmed his status as the ‘Assist-King’ by squaring to Ramsey to stroke home for his second goal in two games.Villa had a chance to snatch a goal back ten minutes into the second half when top scorer Scott Sinclair found himself unmarked just outside the six yard box, but looped his header harmlessly over the bar.Leandro Bacuna then went close as he cut in from the left and sent a curling shot towards Petr Cech’s goal, but it landed on the roof of the net.Carles Gil went close with an ambitious long-ranger for the hosts but it was another defeat for Villa and Remi Garde as relegation looks like an inevitability. Aaron Ramsey celebrating with Mesut Ozil 1last_img read more

Crisis-hit Chelsea back in for £40m Stones, Swansea to go for Bielsa? Paper review

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first_imgHere’s the top transfer-related stories in Tuesday’s newspapers…Chelsea will relaunch their £40million bid to sign Everton defender John Stones as soon as the transfer window opens in January as manager Jose Mourinho bids to kick-start his side’s Premier League title defence. (Daily Express)Chelsea have been warned Alex Teixeira could cost them at least £7million more if they fail to strike a January deal with Shakhtar Donetsk. Brazilian Teixeira, 25, has revealed Chelsea are in talks with his Ukrainian club about signing him. But Shakhtar boss Mircea Lucescu says his value will rocket to €50m at the end of the season. (Daily Mirror)Juventus are not giving up on Oscar at Chelsea. The Italian champions remain keen to add further creativity behind their strikers and see Brazilian Oscar as ideal for the role. They are prepared to sign Juan Cuadrado on a permanent deal also but talks are unlikely to kick on until the summer when budgets are clearer. (Daily Mail)Marcelo Bielsa is the latest contender to enter the frame for the Swansea job as chairman Huw Jenkins begins to narrow down the list of contenders to succeed Garry Monk. Former Argentina and Chile boss Bielsa has become the odds-on favourite to take over at the Liberty Stadium, with his price having been cut from 40-1 over the course of the weekend. (Daily Mirror)Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is reluctant to make ANY signings in the January window – despite being offered funds to bring in new players by his American owners. (Daily Mirror)Simon Mignolet is close to signing a new contract at Liverpool, with negotiations over extending his Anfield career set to be concluded before the end of the month. (Guardian)West Brom will consider handing Kerim Frei a Premier League return if they miss out on QPR’s Matt ­Phillips. Baggies boss Tony Pulis is keen to revive a £7million deal to sign Scotland international Phillips next month. But QPR may deny him a move and former Fulham man Frei is seen as a possible alternative for West Brom. (Daily Mirror)And here’s the latest talkSPORT.com headlines…Napoli plot January move for out-of-favour Manchester United defender Guillermo VarelaChelsea transfer report: Galatasaray target Blues midfielder John Obi MikelCarlo Ancelotti offered mega £11m-a-year deal to replace Andre Villas-Boas as Zenit bossChelsea and Man City send scouts to watch £10m-rated Ligue 1 star Cheikh N’DoyeJuan Cuadrado: Juventus stalling on permanent £14m deal for Chelsea flopLiverpool and Tottenham striker target Stefan Kiessling hints at Bayer Leverkusen exitReal Madrid target Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez as replacement for Cristiano Ronaldolast_img read more

Jamie Vardy set for a two-week absence with injury?

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first_img1 Reports – Jamie Vardy set for a two-week absence with injury Jamie Vardy is set for up to a fortnight out through injury, according to reports.BBC Radio Leicester said on Sunday that the 28-year-old – one of the stars of the season – is to have minor groin surgery and will sit out for one to two weeks.There has been no comment from Leicester, who need Vardy’s goals to maintain their title challenge.The England international has netted 15 Premier League goals this season, including a record run of scoring in 11 consecutive games, although he has just one in his last six.Leicester’s form has dipped slightly too, failing to score in a run of three games that has yielded two points.They host Tottenham in the FA Cup next weekend.last_img read more

Clips of the Week – Friday, January 22

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first_imgJoin Paul Hawksbee and Andy Jacobs for everyone’s favourite part of the talkSPORT week.last_img

Middlesbrough refusing to give up Jordan Rhodes chase

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first_imgMiddlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka is refusing to give up on a deadline-day swoop for Blackburn frontman Jordan Rhodes.Scotland strike star Rhodes headed for Teesside over the weekend with Boro believing they had struck a deal, understood to be worth around £9million with add-ons.However, the plug was pulled on the deal on Sunday after the player and club failed to reach an agreement over personal terms.It is understood, though, that it could yet be resurrected with Boro still keen to land the 25-year-old, who has 11 goals to his name so far this season.Although he is not their only target with time running down fast.Rhodes reported for training at Blackburn on Monday morning, but reportedly left shortly after, sparking speculation that his move could be back on.The Teessiders are also maintaining an interest in Fulham’s Ross McCormack despite being told by the London club that he is not for sale.Boto are prepared to spend big as they attempt to secure a Premier League return at the seventh attempt following relegation in 2009. 1 Blackburn striker Jordan Rhodes last_img read more

Ex-con charged in North Hollywood strangulation

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first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.La Brunda confessed to strangling Johnson in his car after she disrespected him, police said. He then placed her body on a row of abandoned tires in an alley less than four blocks from his home, officers said. A neighbor discovered the body around 11 a.m. Wednesday. La Brunda was charged Thursday with two counts of capital murder for the deaths of Johnson and her unborn child. It was unclear if he was the child’s father. He is being held without bail in Los Angeles County Jail. “It’s tragic,” Los Angeles police Detective Rich Wheeler said. “She didn’t deserve this. She’s 21.” In March, Johnson and La Brunda reconnected at a junior college, where her father said she was studying to become a social worker. La Brunda had just gotten out of jail after being convicted in January of battering another woman he was dating, according to court records. NORTH HOLLYWOOD – Soft-hearted and the apple of her father’s eye, Alisha Johnson’s family nicknamed her “big” because, as he said, “She was bigger than life.” On Thursday, police said the 21-year-old woman who was four months pregnant was dumped shoeless next to a pile of tires in a North Hollywood alley by a man convicted four times of beating up women. “She was just full of life, love and understanding,” her father, Clay, said as mourners poured into his Orange County home Thursday. Friends told police Johnson had known Michael La Brunda, a 33-year-old father with a criminal record dating back seven years, for more than two years. He was sentenced to nine months in jail, but because of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s early release program, was set free before he completed the time. He had previously been convicted three times on spousal battery and been ordered to take a one-year domestic violence program. None of the charges ever carried more than a one-year conviction. “When you are sentenced to 270 days, you are out in two or three months,” said Richard A. Schmidt, supervising city attorney for the Van Nuys criminal branch. “This illustrates a very grave and long-standing concern that our offices and I know the judges have have had with the early release from the county jail system.” As recently as last year, another woman filed a restraining order against La Brunda. And a neighbor filed one back in 2003. Earlier rachel.uranga@dailynews.com (818) 713-3741 For the latest news and observations on crime in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, check out the Daily News’ crime blog by clicking here.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more